August 18, 2014 Housing Action Coalition
District 4 Supervisor Katy Tang recently introduced the Sunset District Blueprint, which unveils a land use plan for the neighborhood over the next 10 years. As part of this vision, Sup. Tang has helped craft a thoughtful land use strategy that encourages new housing production that could add up to 1,000 new homes and activate under-utilized space, while maintaining the Sunset’s residential character. Other areas of focus include Children and Families, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Economic Development and Public Transportation and Pedestrian Safety.
The plan reflects months of consensus building among local community stakeholders. The SFHAC supports Sup. Tang’s proposal because it adds badly-needed new housing in a neighborhood that has seen little production recently. According to the SF Planning Department, 80 percent of the City’s development is taking now place on 20 percent of its land. This raises basic questions of civic fairness when development is not fairly distributed. The SFHAC has long advocated for more equitable distribution of new housing across San Francisco’s neighborhoods. It is also a part of our 2014 Housing Action Plan.
Sup. Tang’s plan has seven primary objectives:
1. Identify soft sites along transit and business corridors, and engage stakeholders on how they can be developed. The majority of these site are located along Taraval, Noriega and Irving Streets and can be put to more effective neighborhood-serving uses.
2. Create vibrant, mixed-use developments that serve the neighborhood. These projects can serve a variety of purposes and engage community residents.
3. Ensure growth does not adversely affect neighborhood character. The plan states that new development should be sensitive to the existing homes, which many of were built between 1925-1950 and are primarily single-family.
4. Encouraging housing production that serves a variety of household types. This includes accommodating families, seniors, couples and multi-generational households.
5. Build middle-income housing. Supervisor Tang’s plan encourages changing the BMR program so it serves households earning up to 120 percent of the area median income.
6. Work with the Planning Department to revise Residential Design Guidelines to create a smoother process for property owners. According to the Blueprint, current Guidelines are often too broad.
7. Encourage new housing that serves seniors and people with disabilities by promoting universal design principles that accommodate them. This will help these folks to continue living independently and stay in their communities.
The SFHAC is currently working with OEWD on the Invest in Neighborhoods Initiative, which we hope will incentivize transit-oriented and mixed-use development in neighborhoods throughout the City. This plan also works hand-in-hand with many of the community goals of the Sunset. SFHAC looks forward to working with Sup. Tang to make this plan a reality.